Julie Driscoll: I promised my son that I would never protest or condemn or belittle this war, that I would never dishonor his service by reducing it to foolishness.
Rebecca Griffin: Unfortunately, the president’s plan allows the war to last indefinitely and leaves in place almost twice as many troops as when he came in office. The American and Afghan people will pay the price for prolonging this disastrous policy.
Gareth Porter: The unilateral U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden created a spike in mutual recriminations between U.S. and Pakistani politicians, but their fundamental conflict of interest over Afghanistan was already driving the two countries toward serious confrontation.
Tina Dupuy: Republicans claim to be the arbiters of fiscal discipline, but their record says otherwise. The Ryan Plan, which passed the House, was like a cat burglar writing the charter for the neighborhood watch.
Norman Solomon: It’s already history. In mid-August 2010, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan launched a huge media campaign to prevent any substantial withdrawal of military forces the next summer.
Norman Soloman: And if, these days, “U.S. troops in the field” are not as inclined to express “frustration at having to fight a war without sufficient resources,” the latest boosts of Pentagon outlays for war in Afghanistan merely reflect the unhinged escalation of a war effort that should not exist.
Carl Bloice: The military propagandists needed to come up with something to distract attention from the reality that things are going badly in Afghanistan, very badly. Public opinion in the U.S. has soured toward the war. Every other country that has troops on the battlefields is under tremendous popular pressure to withdraw them.
Shamus Cooke: The group organizing the national town halls is the “non-partisan and non-profit” America Speaks. But scratching the surface of this purportedly harmless group reveals a corporate snake pit. America Speak’s Board of Directors and National Advisory Board showcase an impressive list of corporate CEO’s, CFO’s, consultants, politicians, and elite law firms. Not a single voice from working people is to be found.
Lofty rationales easily tell us that warfare is striving for the noble goal of peace. But the rationales scarcely intersect with actual war. The oratory sugarcoats the poisons, helping to kill hope in the name of it.
In the 20th century, the few successful counterinsurgency campaigns run by an outside power—the Americans in the Philippines after the Spanish-American War at the turn of the last century, the British in Malaya in the 1950s, and the Americans in Iraq—have one thing in common: the insurgency became divided.
The next days and weeks will bring an avalanche of hype about insisting on measurable progress and shifting burdens onto the Afghan army — while the U.S. military expands the war.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger praised U.S. soldiers for helping Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki build and nurture Iraq’s public institutions, which are central to the American war effort. But at the same time Schwarzenegger is systematically (even gleefully) dismantling similar public institutions in California.
This week begins with a significant new straw in the political wind for President Obama to consider. The California Democratic Party has just sent him a formal and clear message: Stop making war in Afghanistan.